Unpredictable talent await Australia in first Test against Pakistan since 1998


Ashes- winning Australia will face strange conditions, heavy security and changeable, but talented, opponents when they begin their first Test in Pakistan for 24 times on Friday.

Having landed in Islamabad just three days agone to be incontinently gulfed in “ head of state- position security”, the Australians have had little time to acclimatise to conditions in Rawalpindi, where the first Test will be played.

But they may like what they see as they exercise, with a pitch frequently more conducive to confluence bowling than the more typical baits’ lattices more generally plant across Pakistan.

In three Tests played in Rawalpindi since Pakistan were allowed to host matches again in 2019, 10 times on from the fatal terror attack on the Sri Lanka platoon machine in Lahore, fast bowlers have snapped up 52 lattices with baits only bagging 21.

Australia captain Pat Cummins, fresh from leading his side to a 4-0 Ashes trouncing of England in his first series in charge, admitted it would be all new to his players.

“ You know most transnational players — and conditions — but this series comes with a many further unknowns than maybe typically, so it’s going to be intriguing and grueling,” said Cummins.

“ I’ve a big belief in making sure our own game is in order. We must suppose that we’re in great form since the Ashes and look at that, rather than on the opposition.”

The Australian won’t have encountered some of Pakistan’s players before.

Baits Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan have come in to replace leg- incentive Yasir Shah and fast bowler Mohammad Abbas, who both starred in Pakistan’s 1-0 palm over Australia in the United Arab Emirates in 2018.

“ I suppose the one thing with the Pakistan platoon is that they’ve some youthful guys who come and shine straight down so it’s a new challenge,” said Cummins.

Teen sensation
Australia haven’t won an down Test series since their stint of New Zealand in 2016, but have an educated line-up able of conforming to conditions.

Nature David Warner and the fat Steve Smith have scored runs between them in 173 Tests, further than the Pakistan top seven batsmen’s combined.

They also have the top- ranked Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne plus the in- form brace of Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja and Travis Head, who both despoiled two centuries in the Ashes.

Cummins leads a world- class pace attack alongside left-armer Mitchell Starc and the fit- again Josh Hazlewood.

They’re rounded by Australia’s topmost off- incentive Nathan Lyon, who passed 400 Test lattices in the Ashes and has taken 95 of those in Asia.

Read Playing in country of birth’ special’for Islamabad-born Australian batsman Usman Khawaja

Pakistan’s fur will heavily calculate on the talented triad of stager Azhar Ali, commander Babar Azam and in- form Mohammad Rizwan.

But their opening brace of Abdullah Shafique, who has played two Tests, with either Shan Masood or Imam-ul-Haq, looks vulnerable.

Pakistan will miss the injured brace of pace bowler Hasan Ali and presto- brushing all- rounder Faheem Ashraf, while another quick Haris Rauf has tested positive for Covid.

It means teen sensation Naseem Shah — who came the youthful bowler to take a chapeau- trick at 16 times and 359 days at the same venue against Bangladesh two times ago — will partake new ball duties with Shaheen Shah Afridi.

With Covid cases on the wane, the ground will be full to capacity with hot home support — the first three days are vended out.
“ It’s the first Test between the two countries in 20-odd times, so it’s a special moment and we as players feel privileged to be part and I hope that suckers come and make noise,” said Cummins.

The alternate Test is in Karachi beginning on March 12 and the and third in Lahore from March 21.

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